IBM is the subject of a new federal lawsuit that charges it violated the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act in laying off four former employees over the age of 55.
The four ex-employees – three worked for IBM in Boulder, Colorado, and one in Washington, D.C. – stated that their employment was terminated in 2016. The plaintiffs accused the Armonk-headquartered company of intentionally refusing to provide age-specific demographic data on its layoffs and refusing to provide severance payment or benefits unless they signed waivers preventing the collective launch of an age discrimination action.
“IBM’s effort was the culmination of its internal reviews that stereotyped older workers as rigid and unreceptive to technology, and branded millennial employees as innovative,” said Cohen Milstein and Johnson Webbert, the plaintiffs’ attorneys, in a news release issued last week after a complaint was filed in federal court in White Plains.
The lawsuit is the latest volley against IBM following a March 2018 ProPublica investigative report on alleged age discrimination practices titled “Cutting ‘Old Heads’ at IBM.” The company was the subject of age discrimination lawsuits filed last May, September and December by former employees over the age of 55.
IBM spokesman Ed Barbini refuted the charges in the lawsuit. “IBM does not discriminate and makes its employment decisions based on skills, not age,” he said.